Tag Archives: Magazine industry

Prairie Business magazine undergoes overhaul

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Ryan Schuster, the editor of North Dakota-based Prairie Business magaizne, writes about the changes to the publication in the latest issue. The magazine covers both Dakotas and western Minnesota.

Schuster writes, “The changes include a new Business Briefs page of short news items, graphics and elements and a By The Numbers page of economic indicators at the back of the magazine, which will continue to grow and evolve in future months.

“Regular readers of the magazine will notice that we have made some changes to the monthly Prairie People and Industry Progress features. The three-page Prairie People feature of briefs has been shortened to one page focusing on people, namely awards, new jobs and promotions earned by executive-level business leaders. The remaining news brief items that have been appearing in Prairie People and Industry Progress have been combined into a new two-page feature called Prairie News.

“By separating the people-related announcements and awards from more traditional business news like the construction of a new wind farm, we hope to make the magazine more focused, less cluttered and easier to navigate.

“Another major change is the presentation of the Q&A feature with women business leaders. The monthly series of interviews with one woman manager each from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota has been replaced by a half-page Women in Business Q&A with a female business leader from our three-state coverage area. The full-page Q&A with a regional business leader that we have been experimenting with in recent months will also become a regular monthly feature, space permitting.”

Read more here.

Harvard Biz Review's new design

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The Boston Globe has a brief Friday about the redesigned Harvard Business Review.

The brief states, “‘The redesigns will more fully integrate the print magazine and website content and include new article departments, columnists, and new online features,’ the Review said in a press release.

“The release included a statement from publisher Joshua Macht, who said: ‘The new design is an important milestone in Harvard Business Review’s growth as a global media brand. By more fully integrating our ideas across platforms and giving our audience more choices to access our content — from print magazine to books published by Harvard Business Press to new mobile applications and other online products in development — we are extending the reach and impact of our authors, our ideas, and our global partners.’

“The release added, ‘Inside the magazine, three new sections make their debut, Idea Watch, which presents new thinking and research in progress, Spotlight, in which a series of articles focuses on a topic of critical importance, and Experience, which delivers ideas and best practices to help leaders excel professionally.’”

Read more here.

If BusinessWeek fails, it's petty cash to Bloomberg

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Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine talked to magazine consultant Marty Walker about what 2010 holds in store for the industry, and one question focused on the future of BusinessWeek, recently acquired by Bloomberg LP.

Here is an excerpt:

What does the future hold for Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek? Can it return to profitability with the staff cuts and new, more general-interest focus?

Well, what I don’t know is what resources Bloomberg is dedicating to replacing those staffers who were cut, or what Bloomberg plans for its own business magazine, and how they plan to market both of them. I don’t think that Bloomberg wants to turn BusinessWeek into Portfolio.

It’s really too soon to know, but they are very smart people, they have deep pockets, and they were probably the only company in the world that could have possibly saved BusinessWeek.

It’s really a question of how they integrate and share news resources.

And they didn’t pay very much for it, it’s like petty cash. If it doesn’t work it would be a bit of an embarrassment but not a disaster to the bottom line.

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BusinessTN ceases publication, to be replaced by another

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BusinessTN, a six-year-old magazine that covers Tennessee business, is stopping its print publication, writes editor Drew Ruble.

Ruble writes, “BusinessTN‘s brand of journalism is not going completely away. The brand will maintain a digital presence at www.businesstn.com, which will continue to serve as a vibrant daily repository of the most significant business news affecting Tennessee. Also, the magazine’s popular e-mail products — the BTN eBriefs and the BTN eWeekly — will continue.

“In BusinessTN‘s place, we will present a new publication focused on Middle Tennessee business, Nashville Post magazine. The new magazine piggybacks on the well-established breaking news business online source for the Nashville area, NashvillePost.com, a sister publication in the SouthComm Publishing corporate family. Now entering its tenth year as a respected business news outlet in Music City, the Nashville Post brand only stands to grow in its level of engagement and relevance to the Middle Tennessee marketplace with its own bimonthly print companion.

“While the statewide print publication may be departing, it should not be taken as a sign that its mission is not still needed, if not indeed vital, to the economic health of our state as a whole.”

Read more here.

Top biz journalism events of the decade

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The first decade of the 21st century began with business journalists facing criticism for their boosterish coverage of companies during the tech bubble and ended with many of the same reporters facing more criticism for failing to warn consumers about the current economic crisis.

In between, the world of business journalism underwent dramatic changes that make the field only vaguely similar to what it looked like back on Jan. 1, 2000.

Talking Biz News believes the following 10 events — ranked in order of importance — were the most important to business journalism during the past decade. If you’d like to nominate another event, please post a comment.

1. The demise of the daily business section: At the beginning of the decade, standalone business sections in metro newspapers across the country were the primary source of news for those seeking information about business, the markets and the economy. As 2009 closes, they’re now an afterthought. Many of these papers have only themselves to blame — the cutting of printed stock listings and the downsizing of business news staffs have cut the quality and quantity of business news they provide.

2. The biz magazine shakeout: Goodbye Business 2.0, one of the hippest business magazines ever printed. Hello, and goodbye, to Conde Nast Portfolio. So long, Fortune Small Business and BusinessWeek SmallBiz. In addition, Inc., Fast Company and BusinessWeek were sold to new owners, Fortune cut its printed issues by 33 percent and Forbes sold a minority stake of itself. None have been able to find a new formula for success.

3. The rise of Bloomberg News: At the beginning of the decade, Bloomberg was simply another wire service that competed against the AP, Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires and the now-defunct Bridge News. Now, it has the largest staff of business journalists anywhere. It owns BusinessWeek magazine, and it’s overhauling its TV operations to compete with CNBC and Fox Business Network. The contest for business news dominance now appears to be a two-horse race between Bloomberg and Dow Jones.

4. Dow Jones sale to News Corp.: Rupert Murdoch added the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires in 2007 to his far-flung media operations. Along with the Fox Business Network, News Corp. now has a presence in delivering business news in every major platform. The Journal has continued to grow its subscription base and has led the pack in requesting consumers pay for business news online.

5. Cable biz news wars: After CNNfn went off the air in 2004, CNBC had the cable business news market to itself for the next three years, until 2007 when the Fox Business Network was launched. Amid criticism that it was too bullish at the beginning of the decade and too defensive of Wall Street at the end of the decade, CNBC continued to dominate business news on TV.

6. Lessons learned: Yes, business journalism was asleep at the wheel in failing to provide adequate coverage of tech, Internet and telecom companies in the first part of the decade. But many biz reporters learned their lesson, and the coverage in the latter part of the decade about the housing bubble and Wall Street problems was much better. And I don’t buy the argument that financial journalism should have warned consumers what was coming; we are not fortune tellers.

7. KHOU-TV’s coverage of bad tires: This was the 2000 coverage of the Firestone problems on Ford Explorers that led to dozens of deaths, and it was a stark reminder that the best business journalism is investigative and questions companies, searching for answers when a company stonewalls. It led to an overall more adversarial approach to business journalism for the rest of the decade.

8. Jon Stewart’s takedown of Jim Cramer: Forget the back and forth between the two combatants here. Simply put, “The Daily Show” hosts montage of bad calls by Cramer put into focus what every serious business journalist knows: You don’t ever predict something, particularly involving investments or money, in print or on the air. Sadly, Cramer’s not the only one who does this.

9. Pulitzer winners abound: From the 2002 win by Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times for her coverage of Wall Street to the 2008 win by Washington Post business columnist Steve Pearlstein and the 2009 win by Alexandra Berzon of the Las Vegas Sun, the Pulitzer committee recognized that business journalism was prescient and performed its watchdog role.

10. New delivery systems: iPhones and Blackberries now act as a transmitter of The Wall Street Journal and other major business media outlets. Twitter sends headlines of breaking news. Kindles and Sony Readers can do all and more. The newspaper is not dead as a medium of business news, but it now has more competition from a variety of options.

Urban biz magazine launched

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A quarterly business magazine called Get Money aimed at the inner city market has been launched.

The magazine will hit newsstands across the country next Tuesday, Dec. 29.

The magazine says that its content is similar to more traditional business magazines such as Forbes and Fortune magazines and that articles covering business structures, investing, real estate, business planning, money management, and financial motivation form the basis of its content. However, the cover of the first issue looks nothing like Forbes or Fortune.

“The mission of Get Money magazine is to forever change the way young urban adults think about getting money, investing money, and keeping money, thereby inspiring the consistent actions necessary to create generational wealth,” said Get Money CEO Kolie Crutcher in a statement.

The newsstand cover price for Get Money is $5.99. Itcan also be purchased online or in person from Black Star Music and Film in Harlem, N.Y. The yearly subscription price is $11.95, and the two-year subscription price is $19.95.

Read more here.

WSJ magazine to increase circulation, number of issues

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Amy Wicks of Women’s Wear Daily reports Wednesday that WSJ., the glossy magazine from The Wall Street Journal, plans to double its circulation and increase the number of issues by 50 percent in 2010.

Wicks writes, “Beginning in March, The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly glossy magazine WSJ. will raise its circulation to 1.6 million from 800,000 and increase its publishing schedule to six issues a year.

“In addition to being available to all subscribers to the Journal in the U.S., WSJ. will be sold on newsstands. Issues will run in March, May, June, September, October and December. According to a statement, the magazine has attracted 64 new advertisers to the Journal franchise.

“In September, the Journal said it planned to do four issues next year plus two online-only issues, while now all the issues will be print based.”

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Business mags No. 2 category among dead glossies in 2009

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Vanessa Voltolina of Folio reports that of the 428 magazines that folded in 2009, only regional publications had more deaths than the business magazine category, according to data from MediaFinder.com.

Voltolina writes, “But while the number of ceased titles may be fewer than years past, there have also been fewer launches. There were only 275 startups this year versus 335 in 2008. Regional magazines topped the list with 21 launches, including Maine Magazine and B-metro Birmingham.

“Regionals, however, also topped the list of shutdowns (34), with titles such Atlanta Life and Denver Living going under. Business magazine shutdowns came in second (16), with casualties including BusinessWeek Small Biz, Condé Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business.

“The Health category had the second highest number of launches (15), including Scottsdale Health and Natural Awakenings. Food titles came next with 14 new magazines such as Food Network Magazine, Edible Queens, and Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade.”

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Business magazines need to find their reason for existence

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Alan Webber, one of the co-founders of Fast Company magazine, writes on Folio Monday that the remaining business magazines need to reinvent themselves for readers rather than just trying to survive.

Webber writes, “They want authenticity, integrity, and real dialog — and instead they feel they’ve been getting a steady diet of status-quo thinking, round-up-the-usual-suspects journalism, and convenient excuses for why things can’t change.

“The exciting truth is we are at the threshold of a new era in business. All over the world we’re witnessing massive discontinuities in how work gets done, who does it, how value is created, where it gets created — one epoch is ending, another is just being born. What business magazines need to do is to embrace the changes and challenges that are rocking the world of business — get in front of the evolving story line; engage readers in a conversation; challenge the status quo instead of offering bland reassurances that the status quo will prevail; generate useful, provocative debate; discover new voices who champion new ideas and unconventional practices.

“It’s not just a matter of finding a way to stay in business; it’s a matter of having a purpose for being in business in the first place. Entrepreneurship is the answer to the companies business magazines cover; it’s also the answer to the future of the magazines themselves.”

Read more here.

The overhaul at Harvard Business Review

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Stephanie Clifford of The New York Times writes Friday about the changes made at the Harvard Business Review to give it more appeal to a broader set of readers.

Clifford writes, “The first part of that is making Harvard Business Review more current.

“When the Review was founded in 1922, it dispensed Harvard Business School research to the public. Its scope widened over the years, but articles tended to be scholarly, rather than news driven. By January 2009, for example, ‘HBR had barely written a thing, even indirectly, about the economic crisis,’ Mr. Ignatius said. ‘There was a sense, in the past, that HBR should not be timely,’ he said. ‘It was the idea that research is ready when research is ready.’

“Mr. Ignatius changed the publication schedule so the magazine could close just three weeks before publication, rather than more than six weeks before. He is adding articles that reflect the times. For example, the January/February issue includes an argument from a top professor that shareholder-focused capitalism is ending.

“The second part is adding standard magazine rubrics. The list of articles has been knocked off the cover (Mr. Ignatius actually removed it this year). ‘The problem was that people look at the table of contents, scan it, and say, no, I’m not interested in it.’

“He is adding columns by the strategy professor C. K. Prahalad and the economist Dan Ariely, a page on someone outside the business world called ‘Life’s Work’ (Condoleezza Rice is the first subject), and a recurring feature called ‘Defend Your Research,’ where academics are quizzed about their studies. And he is arranging a few articles in issues around themes like reinvention and strategy during a weak recovery.”

Read more here.